The players have to look at themselves

Last updated : 12 January 2009 By Tony Scholes
Martinez had seen his side draw all of their previous eight games which meant they'd neither won nor lost since November and he was delighted to finally end that sequence with a victory.

He said: "Sometimes in football your performances don't get you the results you deserve. I think that was the case during our run of draws. We are still growing at this level and to go eight games unbeaten before today's game was a huge positive considering we've just been promoted from League One.

"It was another good performance and we are starting to use the experience we've games from the 26 games we've played at this level.

"It's great to get a win in such a difficult place. Burnley are in the middle of a fantastic season and it's credit to the players to get a good result here. If we keep performing well then rewards will come at the end of the season."

Owen Coyle was calling for a rule change after Michael Duff was sent off, a decision from referee Michael Oliver he believed turned the game Swansea's way.

"The penalty decision was a big moment in the game," he said. "We never started well and I don't want to hide behind that. But we looked as though we had seen their early threat off and whether it's a penalty or not, I'm not sure.

"Michael looks as though he has his hands around Scotland's waist to begin with, but when he has made the eventual challenge it is clear his hands are away from him.

"I think it's just the ruling. Having been punished for the penalty you are then down to ten men as well and I really think that is an injustice and something that needs to be looked at.

"It's certainly a hard one to take and it certainly doesn't help us because players are missing again from a disciplinary point of view. It's all so innocuous. If people are going about smacking folk and elbowing, then you can take it. But the ruling is in place and we have suffered severely from it.

"Maybe it is a case that if somebody goes through we let them, and leave Brian Jensen to deal with it and have eleven men still on the park."

On the game and the performance, Coyle added: "For the majority of the second half I felt we were in the game. Swansea were limited to a few shots from outside the box, which they were going to get anyway because they are a very good side with eleven, never mind against ten.

"We created a few half chances and if we'd just had that bit of luck that deserted us, we could have got something out of the game. But we didn't and as I have said before, if the players want to feel sorry for themselves then they are no good to me.

"We have probably played more games than any other team in British football, but we don't want anybody hiding behind that. I have Graham Alexander out there at 37 who I know I can hang my hat on every week.

"It is far too easy to look for excuses. The bottom line is we have not had enough players in the past few games playing to the standards set previously. The players have to look at themselves to resurrect that.

"The nature of football means you are always going to get that smack and the sooner you get back up again the better, and that starts Tuesday against QPR. There's no doubt we can bounce back, so it's time to look for the characters with the mental strength to come through and we need that sooner, rather than later."